Polygenic Risk Scores Research Grant

Improving disease prediction for diverse populations

Driving advancements for polygenic risk score-based research

polygenic risk score-based research grant

Improving risk prediction today for a better tomorrow

Illumina is dedicated to advancing how we predict heritable diseases with the goal of improving early clinical intervention, treatments, and outcomes. We are committed to enabling groundbreaking research that will help populations across all ethnic backgrounds, genders, and social boundaries, large or small.

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Contest details

Eligible applicants are invited to submit an abstract (maximum of 400 words) for a new project describing the use of the Infinium Global Diversity Array with PRS Content-8 v1.0 Kit along with the Illumina Polygenic Risk Score software–Predict module.

Predict module

Utilize existing scores or ones newly created to generate calculations and risk predictions for a disease or phenotype of interest, with eloquent reporting capabilities to further your research.

PRS grant award

The award

Applications for the 2023 Illumina Polygenic Risk Scores Research Grant Contest are being accepted. The deadline for all submissions is 11:59 PM PT on July 31, 2023.

One winner will be selected from all qualified applications by a panel of experts, who will rank the applications based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential impact to human health
  2. Feasibility
  3. Prior scientific accomplishments
  4. Scientific merit
  5. Novelty

The winner will receive 1008 samples of the Infinium Global Diversity Array with PRS Content-8 v1.0 Kit and accompanying analysis software, valued at over $100,000 USD (Prize). Research proposals that consider biomedical diversity will be prioritized.

Eligibility and Requirements

The grant program is open to basic scientists focused on genomics at academic, for profit, or nonprofit institutions

In 400 words or less, provide an overview, a statement of work, and a description of the impact of your research. You may also include up to three figures, with legends, and a list of citations (with 200 word count limit). For more details, read the complete eligibility terms and conditions.

Judging criteria:

A team of scientists and executives will judge all submissions. Each submission will be judged based on our view of how well the entry reflects scientific merit, innovation, and fit with the values of Illumina.

Applicants should include:
  • Scientific impact
  • Social impact
  • Collaborators
  • Nations represented
  • Technologies used
  • Other sources of funding
To be considered, all entries must:
  • Be in English
  • Be complete
  • Be an original work
Past recipients of the Illumina Polygenic Risk Scores Research Grant Contest

Dr. Emma Johnson, PhD
Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Illumina congratulates Emma Johnson, PhD, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her research interests are at the intersection of the genetics of substance use disorders and comorbid conditions, including pain. Within the U.S., more than 40 million surgeries are performed annually. Fifteen percent of surgical patients develop chronic post-surgical pain, for which opioids remain the frontline treatment despite their high addictive potential.1,2 Professor Johnson and her colleagues, Arpana Agrawal, PhD, professor of psychiatry, and Simon Haroutounian, PhD, chief of clinical research at the Washington University Pain Center, will use Illumina and Allelica technology to genotype at least 1000 surgery patients from an ongoing P5 study (PI: Dr. Haroutounian) to understand the transition from acute to chronic postoperative pain. Ultimately, this research aims to develop polygenic risk scores (PRS) for chronic pain and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), enabling clinicians to one day more effectively manage and prevent post-surgical pain, as well as providing a resource for stratification of high-risk individuals who may develop OUD alongside chronic pain. OUD and fatal overdoses associated with it have had a tremendous impact on tens of thousands of lives.3 Illumina is excited to help solve this major health challenge by collaborating with Professors Emma Johnson, Arpana Agrawal, and Simon Haroutounian.

  1. Pogatzki-Zahn, Esther & Lavandhomme, Patricia. “Prevention of Chronic Post-Surgical Pain”. International Association for the Study Pain. 31 August 2023, www.iasp-pain.org/resources/fact-sheets/prevention-of-chronic-post-surgical-pain
  2. Tiippana E, Hamunen K, Heiskanen T, Nieminen T, Kalso E, et al. (2016) New approach for treatment of prolonged postoperative pain: APS Out-Patient Clinic. Scand J Pain 12: 19-24.
  3. Ahmad FB, Cisewski JA, Rossen LM, Sutton P. Provisional drug overdose death counts. National Center for Health Statistics. 2023.

Additional resources

Polygenic risk scores

Learn more about polygenic risk scores and how they can help empower awareness about an individual's heritable risk of complex diseases.

Polygenic risk scores for common diseases

In this on-demand webinar, Dr. Estelle Giraud provides an overview on why polygenic risk scores are clinically relevant and how they may be used in the future.

Polygenic Risk Score software–Predict module

Illumina Polygenic Risk Score software is a user-friendly research solution that accelerates the complex polygenic risk score (PRS) development process while reducing the need for technical expertise.